I got my start in Real Estate while running a painting company…. I was 19 years old, fresh out of high school, and dying to make a buck or two. I took a job running my own franchise for an evil corporation preying on college students. I would mention them here but they do not deserve the free publicity. One good thing that came out of working for slime balls was learning how to spot them and how to deal with them, without having to be one yourself.
What does Real Estate have to do with Painting right?
Nothing. I was stressed running 4 paint crews and 18 employees and while I was seeing a tangible return, I decided then that blue-collar work was simply not for me. I started reading about housing, especially since I spent everyday walking in and around houses, up on top of them, and spraying the $#!t out of them with my pressure washer (which incidentally may have done some damage hear and there – no worries->it was too high up to see from the ground)
Learning Sales the “Old Fashioned” Way
I decided after over a year with the evil painting umbrella firm that I wanted look into making investments with steady measurable return. I took a job with Morgan Stanley, learned a bit about securities valuation and bidding on the spread, but mostly how to sell ketchup popsicles to Eskimos in white gloves who weren’t hungry. I took this knowledge, and the reference from Morgan Stanley – and went off to find greener pastures of interest. I ended up at a Commercial Real Estate development firm as an “apprentice.” This word I came to find out is synonymous with Gopher, yes gopher – as in “Nick, Go for this and Go for that.” All of the running around and b!tch work got a little annoying, so what did I do? I did something about it – I started a relationship with my immediate superior (who was also a younger guy, and happened to graduate from the same college I attended). I had him submerge me into financial analysis and modeling; you need to make yourself valuable to a company.
Once I had a concept of what I was doing; managing budgets, materials, capital reserve, and preparing for carry (vacancy) I
hopped off to another firm, The Staubach Company (Yes Roger “The Dodger” Staubach owns an incredible and prominent Commercial Real Estate Representation Firm), and this is when I started to get my feet wet. There are a few ways to invest in Real Estate – buying residential (less than 5 units) or going commercial (5+ units). Commercial requires different kinds of lending restrictions with (almost always) a cash piece required, unless you get the seller to hold paper (second mortgage).
It is much easier to get creative with residential.
There’s ways to create “funny money;” more specifically money that is being exchanged for the purposes of capital expenditure/requirements but does not come out of your pocket or the seller’s pocket.One easy example of this is a closing cost credit. Where you, as the buyer, agree to pay more for the property than the agreed price and in the closing terms take a “credit to buyer” to cover, quite possibly, all closing costs and the required down payment (10-20%).
Keep a look out for part two of this post, I will elaborate on my recommendations for getting started; where to buy, what to buy, and what to look for.